42 Clever Organizing Ideas To Make Your Life So Much Easier

1. Layer your shoes using sturdy metal or milk crates instead of flimsy shoe shelves.

You can find similar crates here for $25. Read more closet decluttering tips here.

2. Start folding your tees and clothes so they stack vertically in drawers or bins.

This is Marie Kondo’s version of folding, which you can read more about here and in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. True, it may not look like it makes your life easier, but as someone who does it regularly, I can attest — the time you save looking for just the right piece of clothing in the morning makes a difference.

3. Store your out-of-season and bulky clothing in decorative containers outside of your closet, if your closet is extra small.

In this master bedroom, a picnic basket doubles as a side table and out-of-season PJ storage; a vintage trunk sits at the end of the bed and holds wool sweaters, and decorative suitcases sitting on top of the armoire hide swimsuits in the winter and hats and scarves in the summer.

4. Stack your makeup palettes in an easy-to-find row using a dollar store letter organizer.

You can keep your most-used palettes on display and easy to grab when you’re doing your makeup; if you have more than three, you can store them in a drawer. From here.

5. Clip the hats you wear most to the wall, using removable adhesive strips and clothespins.

This is a very beautiful, stylized display, but the idea would work well to make a hat rack on the narrow inside wall of a small closet, too. And baseball caps would happily even hook onto the top part of the pins. Read the how-to here.

6. Make your own earring and ring storage box using a few supplies from the craft store.

See how it’s done here.

7. Clean out old candle jars and turn them into a makeup organizer and little storage jars.

You can also use them to organize your makeup brushes. Learn how to do it here.

8. Duct tape shower curtain rings to a hanger to make an affordable and functional tie organizer.

If you use matching duct tape and curtain rings, it will look nice and neat. But you could also use hot glue or E-6000 craft glue. Learn how to make one here.

9. Display your necklaces so you can easily find what you want to wear, and so they don’t get tangled.

Find out how to do it here.

10. Store your bobby pins in a magnetic paperclip holder and your hair ties on a carabiner.

Two dollar store solutions for two very common clutter culprits. From here and here.

11. Hang a tension rod beneath your kitchen sink to store sponges and spray bottles as needed.

Just make sure it’s heavy duty enough that it won’t fall with the weight of the bottles; most should be fine. If you’re also planning to decant your dishwasher tablets just make sure your kids are old enough to know they’re not candy. Here’s the tutorial.

12. Slip an office-supply-store letter organizer into a cabinet to make all of your baking sheets and pans easy to grab.

Read more about the system at Today.com.

13. Whip your refrigerator into shape using bins — one for cheese, one for fruits, and so on.

And if you’re the sort of person who keeps their veggies in the veggie drawer and their fruits in the fruits drawer, then of course you can keep your yogurt in a bin, instead. Opt for taller bins so you can optimize all of the vertical space. You can find inexpensive ones at your local dollar store, or upgrade to these transparent ones that let you see exactly what’s inside, $20.86 each. Read more about fridge organizing here.

14. Organize your spices in small mason jars to make them easy to scoop and measure out.

Then, if you’re storing them in a drawer, you can write their names on their lids and keep them in alphabetical order, like in this tutorial. Or, if you’re storing them in a cabinet or rack, you can write their names on the sides of the jars.

15. Roll your dish towels or dish rags up and store them in a wine rack on your countertop to make them easy to grab.

Keep it next to your sink so a clean towel is always within reach. This is especially helpful if you like to use a dishcloth instead of a sponge for cleaning, because you can get a new one at the beginning of each day and toss the previous day’s in the laundry. From here.

16. Stash lazy Susans in the corners of your pantry in order to make every inch of space easily accessible.

In this makeover, they moved around supports in the pantry and made the lazy Susans built-ins, but you could just buy a few lazy Susans and put them in the corner to get a similar effect.

17. Ditch the wasted space that you get with most silverware organizers, and use small pieces of wood plus glue to make your own.

Learn more about how this drawer is the most efficient it could be here. Or try these drawer organizing strips ($17.99/package).

18. Top your toilet with a high-sided basket to use for extra storage — whether it’s toilet paper, towels, soap, or something else.

High sides let you fit more in the vertical space. See this full transformation here, and learn how to make a basket out of a cardboard box here.

19. Give everyone who uses the same bathroom an under-sink drawer to stash their stuff.

Or if the bathroom cabinet’s just yours, use them to sort all of your bottles and soaps. See more of this bathroom here, and get similar drawers for $21.99 here.

20. And don’t forget to take advantage of the inside of your cabinet’s doors.

Hang baskets using removable adhesive strips. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you can still closet the cabinet doors with whatever else you have sitting *inside* the cabinet. Read more about how this cabinet’s organized here.

21. Stash your hairdryer and other hairstyling heat tools in metal magazine organizers under your sink.

It keeps them contained, and makes it easy to reach down and pull them out when you need them. Read more here.

22. Swap your typical drawer pulls for card-catalog-style labeled drawer pulls.

If each person who uses the bathroom has a drawer, you can put names on them, or if it’s the master bathroom, you can label it by what’s inside, like in this tutorial. You can order similar ones for $2.50 each here.

23. Nail four pieces of wood together to make an above-toilet storage ladder that doubles as storage and another towel bar.

You can stain it so it looks rustic like the photo above, or you can simply sand it and paint it white or an accent color or whatever you’d like. Here’s the tutorial.

24. Hang a lingerie bag from a removable adhesive hook to let bath toys drip dry.

This also makes it easy to 1) collect the toys at the end of the bath (it’s like fishing!) and 2) stash the bag of toys under the sink when you want to have your own bath. Read more about it here.

25. Sort your medicines and first aid supplies into easy-to-find labeled containers.

You don’t want to spend time digging for something when you really need it! Get a checklist for what should be in your home first aid kit here.

26. Fold your sheets and towels up and store them in baskets in your linen closet to keep things neat.

Baskets also work to store extra soaps, those first aid supplies and medicines, and everything else you need in your bathroom. Keeping things in baskets makes it easy to pull out exactly what you need without having to dig through piles of linens. See more of this closet here.

And if you need a little more storage, hang a door organizer on the inside of the closet door.

Read more about how this closet is organized here, and get a similar rack for $49.20 here.

27. Convert an inexpensive 5×7-inch photo album into a neat and portable coupon organizer.

Extreme couponers will probably need something more intense, but this is easy and accessible if you aren’t couponing and want to start. Get the tutorial here.

28. Go through the piles of papers that you have stored and sort them according to Marie Kondo’s method.

The system has you sort into two main categories: things you need frequently, and things you need less frequently. And then, you don’t sort the papers any further. Read about one person’s experience with it here.

29. Or try a three-bin “command center” for sorting mail and other papers.

You can go for a more detailed filing box system, but a simpler system like this one is easier to use and harder to ignore. You could even simplify it to two boxes: outbox, and needs attention. Read more about it here.

30. Put together a filing bin to store all of your kiddo’s best and most important school papers and artwork.

You won’t be able to keep everything, of course, but at the end of each year you can pick out some of the best and most important pieces to keep in the bin. Then…put it all out at their high school graduation party. 🙂 Read more about the system here.

31. Keep a small accordion folder in your car’s glove box to make all of those essential papers easy to find when you need them.

These files are inexpensive — you can find one for $5.71 here — and will save you time and stress next time you need to dig out your registration. Read more about the system here.

32. Scan receipts into your phone and organize them with Evernote, so you can stop keeping them in the bottom of your purse.

Evernote is a super useful app that makes it easy to take notes, photos, and to write on your notes. Read the full system here.

33. Never forget a birthday or important event ever again by setting up this “Dates to Remember” system.

The first of each month, sit down and send out the cards you need to send for the month. Learn more about how it works here.

34. Fill a binder with clear sheet protectors, then use those to organize all of your favorite recipes.

You can use the free printable dividers here, or come up with your own system.

35. Flip an old stool over, screw in a few casters, and use it as a portable gift wrap station.

It will make holiday wrapping so much easier, but when you’re in between holidays, you can use it to store birthday paper and other papers (plus supplies like tape, scissors, and bows) so they’re easy to access when you need them. Get the full how-to here.

36. Instead of trying to hit Inbox Zero all the time (although it’s great for you if you can), sort your emails into three simple folders: follow up, archive, and reference.

This is sort of similar to the way you can organize your paper mail and letters, except it’s for EMAIL. Read more about why this system works here.

37. Mute big email threads so you don’t get distracted by random messages.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

Depending on your work culture, you may be included on a big email that you really don’t need to be a part of. Instead of trying to delete it each time someone emails the thread, “mute” it. On Gmail, it’s under the “More” tab. On Outlook it’s a little more complicated, but here’s how.

38. Repurpose a muffin tin as an easy-to-sort desk drawer organizer.

This way, you’ll always be able to find what you need one-handed. Here’s how to do it.

39. Make all of the time you spend in classes or meetings worth it by taking the most helpful and thorough notes of anyone else there.

It’s called the Cornell Method. Learn more here.

40. Schedule limited blocks of time to deal with necessary tasks that you hate having to do.

Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

It can help you focus better during that time, and won’t make the task feel like it’s endless. Get more work organizing tips here.

41. Find a to-do list system that works for you.

Rachel W. Miller / Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

Rachel W. Miller / Ellie Sunakawa / BuzzFeed

42. If tiny to-dos don’t work for you, try setting a goal to accomplish one thing each day.

You can write it on a chalkboard, or just on a piece of paper that you tape to your bathroom mirror. See more of this organized office here.

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